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WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council launches Skill Development initiative with SAATHIYA

To mark the occasion of Women’s Day, WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council is proud to launch a meaningful Skill Development Initiative that endeavours to supports the Government’s Skill India’ drive to promote practical exposure under industry supervision.

India’s ranking improved from 40th to 34th (out of 140 economies), the greatest improvement over 2017 among the top 25 percent of all countries ranked in the biennial Travel & Tourism competitive index.

Travel & Tourism is expected to create 52 million jobs by 2028; however, the biggest challenge lies ahead of us – the lack of a trained and efficient workforce. Though many institutions provide knowledge, lack of practical and industry-led training has hit the sector hard.

With this in mind, WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council joins hands with SAATHIYA, a Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiative, to provide Short Term Training to women (and youth) from marginalised backgrounds for Entry Level Profession in Food and Beverage (F&B) Service and Housekeeping Operations leading to Guest Service Associate roles in leading Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, and QSRs; creating opportunities and ways where the industry can add value and support the employment.

The WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council – SAATHIYA Skill Development Initiative draws extensively from the experiences of the industry, training partners, NGOs and government agencies and institutions.

Meena Bhatia

Meena Bhatia, National Advisory Board Member, WICCI National Hospitality & Tourism Council explains, “The programme aims to guide and prepare the youth, transforming them into confident, career-focused individuals in the organized sector and endeavours to positively transform the lives of these vulnerable and less privileged members of the society. Our goal is aligned with the country’s skill development vision, as also with the industry’s future need for a well-groomed and well-trained workforce.”

Kanika Hasrat, National President, WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council along with Ritu Chawla Mathur – National Vice President, WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council ventured into this initiative with the belief that this was their opportunity to give back to their industry and communities.

Both having had illustrious careers in the industry, Ritu Chawla Mathur reminiscences, “There is much to celebrate and be proud of in our industry that I would like more women to experience the same and sign-up!”

Kanika Hasrat

Echoing her the statement, Kanika Hasrat shared, “The most successful people in the industry have a very positive, enthusiastic “YES I CAN” attitude and I believe that together with the team of WICCI hospitality and Tourism along with SAATHIYA and Industry Skill Council will train for skill and build a passion for the industry.”

With this shared passion, they have set out with a team of like-minded women to identify young women (and men) from marginalised backgrounds, empower them with industry-specific core skills through Short Term Training programs for entry-level roles, to make them employable and job-ready for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry, while also giving them the opportunity and support to build a career while helping them build a firm foundation.

Ritu Chawla Mathur

A program like this is sure to create a positive impact in making them employable and enabling sustainable livelihoods. The WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council team with the support of its National Advisory Member, Jyoti Joshi who has experience in skill development is certain that this program stands out, in a way that the WICCISAATHIYA collaboration aspires to build a long term relationship with students by providing coaching for career growth and hand-holding them through their challenging starting years (2-5 yrs), post the training.

By focusing on skill-development, along with career development in order to serve guests better, the partners are making sure that women (and the youth) appreciate their hospitality jobs become well-rounded employees with specialised skillsets.

Shruti Shibulal, CEO and Director of Tamara Leisure Experiences, at the helm of the philanthropic initiative at SAATHIYA says, “Diversity and inclusion have always been top priorities for Tamara Leisure Experiences. This is also our ongoing focus with SAATHIYA, a non-profit Skilling Academy under the Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives, which offers vocational training, job placement and career mentorship to economically-disadvantaged youth.”

Shruti Shibulal went on to say, “Our partnership with WICCI National Hospitality and Tourism Council will bring two like-minded organizations together that have similar objectives of increasing the women in the workforce in the hospitality industry. I am confident that the complementary strengths of SAATHIYA and WICCI will help create a multiplier effect on outcomes and help empower women with livelihood options and career growth in the hospitality industry.”

Meena Bhatia, Vice President & General Manager, Le Meridien, New Delhi will be rolling out the Pilot batch of 30 young women and men, under her care and supervision at the hotel, operating as the ‘Centre of Excellence’ or training hub.

Meena Bhatia strongly believes, “WICCI’s vision is twofold, one to strengthen the industry with skilled professionals and two to give an opportunity to urban youth to realize their true potential and strive for a better life and livelihood while being leaders for tomorrow.”

The Skill Development Initiative is an 8-week online theory training program, along with practical sessions at identified WICCI training hubs, followed by a minimum of 8 – 12 weeks of on-the-job training for F&B and Housekeeping operations. Students will have to undergo and clear a screening test to be eligible to join this course. Post completion of the entire training, candidates will appear for an NSQF level Assessment post, and a certificate will be awarded to successful candidates.

The Assessment Partner is a reputed Assessment and Certification body backed by the WICCI Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council.

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